Babies start teething when they reach six months of age. Nevertheless, we start noticing symptoms three months earlier. These symptoms include unrest, discomfort, crying and reddening. A baby dummy will help relieve all these symptoms caused by teething.

Babies go through a lot of pain during this difficult period, and it can be exhausting for parents too. Dummies soothe this discomfort, and can go as far as making it go away. This is why they have become key for many parents. If you also want to get your baby a dummy, it’s important for you to know some prior information, and which models are the best on the Australian market.

Key Facts

  • Baby dummies are used to relieve pain induced by the growth of teeth.
  • You will find many different types of dummies out there, but the one you buy must meet certain safety and quality criteria. You should check the materials and that it complies with the AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulation. And don’t forget to purchase an age-appropriate dummy; otherwise, it may result dangerous and ineffective for your baby.
  • You’ll have options ranging from the most basic to the most advanced dummies. Designed to provide other stimuli, certain models include rattles or gel, and present different textures and colours.

Ranking: The best dummies on the Australian market

We bet we can help you choose the very best dummy for your baby. In the following section, we’ve gathered the top 5 models available on the Australian market. You’ll notice that they include the great classics Sophie The Giraffe and the Munchkin teether ball. These products offer both quality and value for money.

No. 1: NatureBond Baby Food Feeder/Dummy

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NatureBond is committed to designing quality maternity and baby products, and this is just what they’ve done with this baby feeder and dummy. It is Amazon’s Choice in the category and offers real bang for your buck, with different accessories included in the pack. Available in two colour sets, this set is sure to please your little one.

It includes 6 safety-tested silicone teats and two baby fruit feeders/dummies. The texture of the teats is designed to soothe gum pain, while the feeders let you introduce fruits into your child’s diet. They are suitable starting age 4 months. Compliant with FDA (American Food and Drug Administration) regulations.

No. 2: Sophie the Giraffe

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Sophie the Giraffe is one of the most sold dummies around the world, and certainly the most recognised. First sold in 1961, it has been produced in France ever since and has gained a place in popular culture over the years. It is made from natural rubber and food grade paints so that you don’t have to worry about your little one’s safety.

Designed for 3-month-old babies and up, it stimulates all five senses while effectively alleviating gum pain. If you don’t believe all the hype, just check out reviews from past customers: “delightful”, “amazing” and “iconic” are just some of the words they use to describe Sophie. What are you waiting for?

No. 3: Set of 2 Baby Dummies by Sarah-Jane Collection

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Sarah-Jane Collection is your very own Australian brand that provides elegant and efficient products for your little one. This set of 2 teether rings is completely safe, made from FDA-approved food grade silicone and untreated natural beech wood. They are both easy to clean and easy to hold.

One of the rings has the head of a koala, while the other is a frog, and we’re sure your baby will love both. Other buyers have praised the safety and cuteness of this set of dummies. This product comes with a 1-year free replacement warranty.

No. 4: Munchkin Twisty Teether Ball

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We’re ready to bet that you’ve heard of Munchkin products, and their Twisty teether ball is a great dummy at a great price. Its vivid and striking colours will stimulate your baby, and its 10 differently textured surfaces are ideal to soothe pain and provide new experiences.

Easy to hold, the size of this product is suitable for 6-month-old children and up. One particularly interesting feature of Munchkin’s Twisty is that it doubles as a rattle to further stimulate your baby. This product is 100% BPA-free and therefore completely safe.

No. 5: Set of 2 Baby Teething Mittens

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These baby teething mittens are particularly attractive are they are designed to fit children ages 0 to 12 months, and your child will be good to go for a while with this set of 2. Made from BPA-free, FDA-approved food grade silicone, it is completely safe for your little one.

The adjustable strap means it can comfortably fit his hand, either left or right. The uneven design is attractive and contributes to soothing gum pain, while the crinkle sound is an additional stimulus that we bet he’ll love. These products are machine washable for thorough cleaning.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dummies

Truly indispensable for both babies and parents, these items are often the only thing that can soothe the pain of teething. The following section will give you all the tools you need to buy the right product, but let’s have a look at basic information regarding dummies first.

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They stimulate the growth of new teeth.(Source: Kuzmina: 32492168/ 123rf.com)

What are dummies exactly?

As you know, they are designed to alleviate the pain caused by the growth of teeth, a phenomenon which usually occurs around the age of 6 months. The discomfort and gum pain leads babies to constantly put their hands in their mouths as they look for relief. This is when dummies come into play.

You’ll find many types of dummies in different shapes and sizes, and you may be overwhelmed when the time comes to buy the right product. While certain parents prefer their baby not to use them, others are fervent supporters because of their incredible results.

American Academy of Pediatrics

“Parents [should] consider offering pacifiers to infants one month and older at the onset of sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.”

What are dummies made of?

Nowadays, there are different kinds available on the market, each dummy presenting different materials. Your child’s health is always the priority, so you need to search for models that are safe to use. This means that they should include natural elements, be hypoallergenic and BPA-free. You’ll also want ease of use and effectiveness, while the value for money isn’t something you should overlook either.

Silicone, plastic and rubber are the most commonly used materials, as they both hygienic and safe for your baby. As we mentioned before, these products must comply with the AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulations. When it comes to filled dummies, they generally consist of purified water or gel.

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The different types available include teething necklaces, gel-filled dummies and other plastic or silicone models.(Source: Kuzmina: 54270483/ 123rf.com)

What types of dummies are available out there?

We’ve mentioned a couple of different kinds already, but there’s more still; they range from the most traditional no-frills dummies to the most advanced models. We often categorise them based on the manufacturing materials: rubber, silicone or plastic. Providing sound stimulation as well as pain relief, the teething rattle is also very popular.

However, the most common way to identify dummies is whether or not they include cooling gel. While both types can be completely suitable for your child, models with gel can be cooled and therefore provide almost immediate relief for the little one’s gums. You can always try both and see which one your baby prefers!

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The design of dummies is usually attractive for babies.(Source: Kuzmina: 86528154/ 123rf.com)

Nowadays, the market is also filled with more modern products, such as teething necklaces or mittens (cf. our ranking). The former is worn by the parent, allowing the little one to nibble away when in their lap. On the other hand, the latter is slipped on the baby’s hand like a glove. There isn’t particularly a more effective type, as each presents different features and babies usually have the last say anyway.

For what ages are dummies recommended?

As you know, they are designed for when babies’ teeth start growing. While this happens around 6 months of age, the symptoms linked to it are noticed much earlier on in life. Our little ones can start biting their fists from as early as 3 months of age, but this will naturally vary from one child to the next. Each specific product should come with an age recommendation.

Certain dummies are suitable from the very first months of life, while others are designed for use starting 6 months of age – this is the case of Sophie the Giraffe. Always inform yourself of the age range of use before purchasing any dummy. As we mentioned before, safety comes first, and some models may be a risk if they are not used properly. They may also simply lose their effectiveness.

Rachel Y. MoonPaediatrician, author of Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know

“Many [parents] are unhappy or frustrated because their child isn’t sleeping how, when, or where the parents want. What I usually find is that the sleep problem is often one that could have been avoided.”

What are the advantages of dummies?

There are diverging views and research regarding the impact of these products for babies. The wide array of benefits they can bring for our little ones means that many paediatricians strongly support their use. In the following list, we’ve compiled some of these advantages:

  • Their use is specifically designed for babies, which makes them the safest available option.
  • They efficiently alleviate pain.
  • The size is adapted to the age of the baby, also strengthening their hands and fingers.
  • The natural materials present no risk to their health.
  • Their generally bright and bold colours makes them particularly attractive to the baby.
  • Teething rattles also stimulate their sense of hearing.
  • Pressing the gum contributes to the growth of new teeth.
  • They are entertaining.

Shopping Criteria

You’ll have to consider several key factors if you want to find the very best dummy for your baby. These different aspects will help you choose a safe product offering the best quality and positive results. These factors are the following:

  • Toxic substances
  • Recommended age
  • AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulation
  • Ease of use
  • Other stimuli

Toxic substances

The materials used in the manufacturing of these products are particularly important, as they concern the safety of your child. Dummies must contain natural materials if possible, and be hypoallergenic; otherwise, they may be harmful to your baby’s health. They should clearly state that their use is suitable for small children.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the most common materials are rubber, plastic or silicone. Certain models are also filled with water-based gel. We strongly recommend against the use of electric dummies, or dummies that feature batteries or vibration. This kind of product is generally considered dangerous for babies as they can lead to accidents.

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Dummies are so useful because babies have the tendency of putting everything in their mouths.(Source: Bilkei: 117436099/ 123rf.com)

Recommended age

As you now know, choosing a product that is tailored to the age of your baby is absolutely essential. It is indeed very important to buy a dummy for each stage of your baby’s young life, as it may otherwise present a risk for your little one. Gel-filled dummies may be punctured and the liquid could leak, or younger children may simply not be able to hold the product.

Different dummy products may be suitable from birth, while others are designed from 3, 4 or 6 months of age. It is fundamental that you check this criterion before making any purchase. That way, you’ll get a perfectly safe and efficient model, that will provide you with the results you’re looking for regarding your child’s health.

AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulation

We’ve already discussed the importance of opting for products that comply with this Australia and New Zealand regulation, which means that it is safe for use. All dummies should be tested to evaluate their safety and efficiency, and will be considered compliant if they pass. In that case, you can be sure of a product’s quality.

As you can imagine, this is a particularly important point, as it means that it is completely safe for our children to use. We strongly recommend against the use of dummies that do not meet these requirements. They may be safety hazards and won’t be effective, which will result in a bad investment.

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The AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulation is used for all children’s toys.

Ease of use

Remember that attractiveness isn’t the only thing to consider when buying a dummy, and its shape will play a key role in its effectiveness. Your baby may not be able to use his new toy if the design isn’t suitable, and it won’t serve its true purpose: relieving gum pain.

As you’ve seen in our ranking of the best dummies on the market, you can find models of all shapes and sizes; the first thing you should consider, however, is its ease of use. This is we encourage you to opt for a product that features handles or other elements easy to hold onto; the size should also be suitable for your baby’s hand. Unique shapes are also particularly useful for children to experiences new sensations.

Other stimuli

The different types of dummies available can present various sizes, shapes and materials. You may be interested by models offering extra stimuli, whether they are sound, visual, olfactory or tactile. Your baby may be more receptive to a specific stimulus, and that’s for you to find out!

For instance, the sound made by teething rattles is a particularly attractive stimulus for children, while bright colours and pleasant shapes are also favourites. If you want to develop your little one’s sense of touch, you can find models with different textures and reliefs. These have proved to quickly soothe the pain as they help pressing on the gum.

Summary

You’ll have to find an efficient way to ease your baby’s pain when the first symptoms of teething appear. The product you choose should meet the safety and quality criteria corresponding to baby items, and this when dummies come into play. They quickly help alleviating your child’s pain, while also offering other visual, tactile and sound and stimuli for entertainment.

From plastic to silicone dummies, from teething necklaces to gel-filled models: finding the right one for your baby is a true endeavour. Always remember that the product you buy must be age-suitable, whether your little one is a newborn or already 6 months old.

Sophie The Giraffe, and the Munchkin teether ball are some of most famous dummies available on the market. We hope that you found our article helpful in your journey to finding the very best model for all your baby’s needs. Feel free to share it, and leave us a comment in the section below with all your thoughts!

(Source of featured image: Kuzmina: 54270483/ 123rf.com)

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